PH Racing Club youngsters Andrew Thomson and Jamie Lessels were among the lucky few to get places in one of the first licensed races since March, the Cademuir Rollercoaster near Peebles yesterday.  The hill race, organised by Moorfoot Runners, was originally intended as a selection race for the Junior Home International but with that race now cancelled it was simply an opportunity for under 15 and under 18 athletes to finally test themselves in a proper race!

Both Thomson and Lessels acquitted themselves well with Thomson covering the 3.5km route with 175m of climbing in a highly respectable time of 15:54 for 9th position in the under 18 race. Lessels finished in 17th position in 18:01.  Well done to both on their performances and good luck to Andrew for his next outing at next weekend’s 4J Studios National Open 800m race at Meadowmill.

The rest of the club members have had to make do with virtual racing since our last ‘race’ report in June with a number of notable performances that have gone unreported until now.

The British Masters 5k Championships were held virtually over a number days in mid-June and our Men’s M45-54 team of Paul Kieran, Robert Sellar, Gary Pirie and Wright Beveridge were 12th overall and in silver position within Scotland behind Cambuslang. Individually, Kieran, Ed Norton and Kristin Lownie were 2nd in their age categories in Scotland, while Julie Menzies continued her fine form with 3rd place in her category.

In July, Scottish Athletics offered another Virtual Relay Challenge with 5k and 10k legs and this time it was the Men’s V50 team of Wright Beveridge, Mark McLean, Iain Taylor and Alan Cockburn who lead the way for PH, placing 3rd in their category.  The overall open and men’s teams both finished 8th with a number of excellent individual runs and almost all who took part placed in the top ten of their respective categories.

Most recently last weekend, and with the initial enthusiasm for virtual racing clearly on the wane, there was some excitement at the prospect of qualifying for a real invitational race on the usual 5k Championship route in Edinburgh. Qualifying runs could be recorded anywhere between Friday and Monday subject to the now familiar rules on elevation loss, length of lap, etc and a number of PH athletes may have put themselves in the frame for an invite to next month’s race.

Fastest of all was Andrew Thomson who posted a run of 15:53 to place 3rd under 17 male.  Paul Kieran went one better, placing 2nd V45 in 16:06, for his run over the same route as Thomson at Rosyth Dockyard. Mark McLean, Kristin Lownie, Alan Cockburn and Julie Menzies all finished in the top three of their categories with quick times.  Fast-improving Robyn Morrocco was 4th V35 with a time of 20:25, while Malcolm Hammond placed 2nd V65 in 21:55 though he had in fact celebrated his 70th birthday by the time he ran it!

The quartet of Lownie (18:35), Gayle Lindsay (18:53), Menzies (19:17) and Katrina Lindsay (19:20) finished as 2nd female team with the Lindsay sisters once again running in Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. Meanwhile the men’s masters team of Kieran, Scott Love, Mark McLean and Martin Butcher also secured a podium place, finishing 3rd in the category.

Well done to all and hopefully everyone can get back to some proper racing soon, whether in the invitational 5k or elsewhere!

Thanks to Moorfoot Runners for organising yesterday’s hill race, to Scottish Athletics for providing virtual racing opportunities over the last few months and to Neil Renton for the photographs.